Ugly Sweaters

In a “just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in” kinda way, there’s snow on the ground again in Nashville. After a couple months of ping-ponging between 70 and 15 degrees, I’m desperately ready for fireside Moscow Mules. Good thing I’m taking off tomorrow for the tropical paradise that is the American midwest. Sigh.

One upside I suppose of the garbage weather is I’m back in my favorite sweater - much like a summer day in Ireland, it's green, ill-fitting and vaguely uncomfortable. I also wore this sweater when Allen and I performed for the US Ambassador to France. 

This was several years ago in Paris, and we didn’t actually know we were performing for the US Ambassador to France. Had we known, we presumably wouldn’t have stayed out all night drinking absinthe like it was the end of the world. Allen and I stumble back to the hotel around 7am, arm in arm, exuberantly singing Blink-182, and are met by our cheery European label rep and a Crossfit enthusiast in a bespoke black suit. You guys ready? Umm, yeah, ok, sure, but what with our reeking of Parisian misadventure and all, maybe we can change really quickly and...

Rabid fire french punctuated by pointing at an invisible watch tells me my request's been denied. Coffee’s thrust in our general direction and we’re whisked away, unshowered and disheveled, past Notre Dame, the Arc de Triomphe and eventually through metal detectors at the US Freaking Embassy. 

We are, evidently, giving a masterclass of sorts for international students - could we play a few tunes and have Allen do a Q&A? The friendly embassy staff seems to empathize with our current state (they probably frequent the same absinthe bar) and mercifully escort us undisturbed through the black tie brunch, stopping only to stuff our faces with macaroons. 

We play the show and don’t embarrass ourselves too badly, I don't think. The Ambassador genuinely enjoys himself. It’s not everyday, after all, he’s entertained by two rejects from the Muppets, and he even offers a knowing wink - high level diplomats are no strangers to PG-13 jubilance and hijinx, after all. 

The Crossfit enthusiast in a bespoke black suit ushers us into a waiting Bentley. Where would we like to go? Within a half hour, we’re back at the absinthe bar, raising glasses to our never having had real jobs.